Class Updates Tuesday 9/15: MIddle Signifiers

Today’s Agenda:

2015-09-15 10.02.48

Review Quiz 1 and review the “Ladder of Abstraction” (#1 – #4 words)

We reviewed the four items from the quiz and discussed why they are ordered from most thematic “Creativity” to least thematic “Lyrics” and why the “sweet spot” for public speakers is #2: “Artistry.” It is the middle signifier; it connects to a more universally understood value like “Creativity” in a unique way that suggests the speaker has something to say that is unique and relatable. #3 and #4 just kind of generally mark “topics” or “subjects” that can be used to illustrate the theme of the speech.

2015-09-15 11.18.22

2015-09-15 15.49.40

Softball” Speech Critique and Central Idea Revision (group competition)

Using a sample student speech we worked in groups on a competition to rewrite the central idea. The group that won came the closest to identifying something like, “I believe that attitude is contagious and that my responsibility and burden is to have a good attitude so that others will too.” Students also had to compose two SUPPORTS to illustrate their central idea, including one analogy.

Finally I checked for participation (hard copy of outlines) and we spent a few minutes doing general peer reviews of one another’s speech outlines.

For Thursday: revise your outlines and bring another hard copy. We will have another contest for a “day of”

Also: the speaking order for the Speech of Self Introduction has been posted to eLC. Please be sure you know your order.


Published by


I am a rhetorical scholar, public speaker, and teacher at the State University of New York at Geneseo. I study speech and contemporary U.S. political culture and teach courses in public speaking, interpersonal and visual communication, speech and media, and rhetorical theory and criticism. I have been featured on RabbitBox Storytelling and TEDx.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s